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This week the question comes from our PDP Members Slack channel: “Should my club run trials for players?” Your Turn: Ask PDP Anything Do you have a coaching question that we might be able to help with?  We would love to hear from you!  Here’s what you can do: 1. Tweet your questions to us @playerdp, or contact us on our Facebook page.2. PDP Members can chat directly with the PDP team to ask questions, share ideas, and support each other on our exclusive Slack Community.  Start your…

This practice is designed to provide players with high repetition of 1v1 and even 1v2 dribbling and scoring scenarios. The practice can easily be adapted for a 2v2 and is a great way to engage your players, encourage bravery and confidence, as well as help them work on opposed finishing. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dave will talk you through the structure of the practice,…

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Player Development Project sits down with Andrew Watt, Youth Development Phase Manager at Fulham FC, to discuss how the Premier League club supports players across the U9-U16 age groups. Below, Andrew provides insights into the Fulham Academy’s principles, his views on talent identification, the different approaches to coaching kids from U9s all the way through to U16s, and how to manage the transitions to different game formats. He also offers practical advice on session design, the merits of isolated and opposed practices, and how to…

This is a directional possession or wave practice. The session aims to encourage players to control the ball in an overload situation with quick combination play and accurate passing. Defenders are tasked with pressing outnumbered, winning the ball and trying to score before transitioning to possession and supporting their team mates. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dave will talk you through the structure of the…

Have you had a conversation with your players about why they play football? What is it that motivates them to turn up to training, sometimes three or more times a week, no matter what the conditions? In this article, resident positive psychology expert Lara Mossman looks at the ways in which coaches can empower players to become self-motivated. It’s likely that across your team there will be a variety of different reasons why players turn up. Some may not want to be there at all…

This practice is a positional game which focusses on getting wingers into position to take their opponent on 1v1. There are some great opportunities within the structure of the practice to work on position specific themes, particularly midfielders combining to exploit width. The practice is easily adapted based on smaller or larger player numbers but in this case is based on 12 players at training. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the…

In this PDP webinar replay, we host Ben Bartlett, a truly world-class coach developer who currently works as Fulham FC Head of Coaching and spent over a decade at The FA as a National Youth Coach Developer. Ben is an expert in the area of session design, specifically a constraints led approach – a methodology which ensures your players use information from within the game to develop. Ben is hosted by PDP Co-founder Dave Wright and PDP Technical Advisor, Dan Wright. Both Dave & Dan…

Individual duels comprise a large part of any football match. So it’s vital that our players feel comfortable beating defenders and facing opponents one-on-one. Below, we examine why 1v1s are so important, discuss the different skills that can help players to be 1v1 dominant, and present some practical examples of exercises to help players improve their dribbling, ball retention, and composure in 1v1 situations. In This Article The Importance of 1v1s The Different Types of 1v1 Skill Practical Examples: 1v1 Attacking Practices The Importance of…

This practice is designed to provide players with opportunities to practice combination play in a 3v3 scenario. The rules of the game lend itself to repetition of 1v1 moments and chances to create, score or stop goals. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dan will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes and how you can adapt it for your players. Would you…

The power of storytelling in human evolution and development is often overlooked in sport. PDP Editor and UEFA A licensed coach, Dave Wright discusses how the stories we share and our ability to change the narrative can shape the future of player development. At the time of writing, Player Development Project is almost four-years-old. During our time as a team and an ever-growing network of contributors, we have been fortunate enough to interview and connect with hundreds of experts in a variety of fields in…

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Helping our players to build a connection with the ball is a crucial part of coaching. But it requires more than simply teaching techniques in isolation. Ball control encompasses a range of skills beyond an individual’s first touch or their ability to dribble past an opponent, and can be exhibited in a variety of ways. Below, we examine these attributes in more detail, and explain how, by coaching skills such as movement, awareness, and retention, we can deliver effective ball mastery sessions. In This Article…

The question this week comes from a Richard via the PDP Member’s Slack Channel. Richard asks: “Should you have a season long plan? Your Turn: Ask PDP Anything Do you have a coaching question that we might be able to help with?  We would love to hear from you!  Here’s what you can do: 1. Tweet your questions to us @playerdp, or contact us on our Facebook page.2. PDP Members can chat directly with the PDP team to ask questions, share ideas, and support each other on our…

Arrival activities are an effective way to start any session. They enable us to engage our players from the moment they get to training, provide valuable opportunities for building connections, and can give us time to set up our upcoming practice(s). But what constitutes an arrival activity? And how can we successfully implement them? Below, we discuss the fundamentals of arrival activities, and how to use them in our sessions. In This Article What Is an Arrival Activity? The Benefits of Arrival Activities — And…

This practice is designed to provide players with opportunities to attack and defend scenarios from wide areas. Quick Navigation About the Video Additional Information Practice Overview Interpreting the Diagrams Diagrams Objectives Organisation Observations & Interventions About the Video In the video below, Dan will talk you through the structure of the practice, various outcomes and how you can adapt it for your players. Do you want to improve your ability to plan and deliver great sessions? Sign up for our Foundations of Session Design course…

Good preparation is key to delivering practices that engage our players and help them maximize their potential. But the planning process can also be daunting — especially for less experienced coaches. So we’ve tried to make it easier. Below are our ten top tips for soccer session design. 1. Make Practice Resemble the Game Next time you’re designing a session, stop to ask yourself: does this look like the game of soccer? “The concept of representative learning design is a really good place to start,”…

The question this week comes from Dan Wright, who was asked: “What is coaching?”       Your Turn: Ask PDP Anything Do you have a coaching question that we might be able to help with?  We would love to hear from you!  Here’s what you can do: 1. Tweet your questions to us @playerdp, or contact us on our Facebook page.2. PDP Members can chat directly with the PDP team to ask questions, share ideas, and support each other on our exclusive Slack Community.  Start your membership…

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